The Reading List: March 19, 2015

reading_listYeah, it has been a while since I posted. I am finally recovering (somewhat) from a nasty case of the Shingles. FYI: Shingles is PAINFUL! PSA: GET THE VACCINE!  I couldn’t have it because of my autoimmune disease. Like all vaccines, it doesn’t work for everyone, but if you can minimize your chances of getting this, do it. Trust me on this one, okay?

The good news is that I actually have managed to get a little reading done. I finished a few of the books that were on my list from last time and discovered some really good new ones.

Teresa Frohock’s The Broken Road was delightful. A very interesting world in this one where singing and magic combine.Teresa somehow manages to use lovely, almost lyrical prose and still write creepy, scary stories. Best of all, she has hinted that there will be probably be more books to come in this series! 🙂

Who is Dell Zero? by Carol Ervin was absolutely AMAZING! I love dystopian literature and this one did not disappoint. If you like Bradbury, Orwell and Huxley, I think you will find this book very satisfying. The style is somewhat understated which adds to the ambiance of the story. The book is written with an incredibly unique voice. The voice in this one has stayed with me and I am hoping to see more books from her in this vein. Please?

I gobbled down Linda Welch’s wonderful new urban fantasy series:  Downside Rain and the sequel, Baelfleur.  I’ve written before about Linda Welch’s books here and here. I love her Whisperings paranormal mystery series and am ready for a re-read of that series, too, especially as she is currently working on a new installment. YAY!

I enjoyed the first two books in the Gideon and Sirius procedural mystery series by Alan Russel, Burning Man and Guardians of the Night.  Part of the attraction is definitely the police dog, Sirius. I have to warn you, though, this leans to grim and dark–it is not a fluffy dog story. Book three is supposed to be in the works.

I did  keep to my goal of re-reading the first two books in the Senyaza series by Chrysoula Tzavelas: Matchbox Girls and Infinity Key. I also read the latest, Wolf Interval, which turned out to be my absolute favorite in the series.  There is amazing world building here – this is definitely a thinking person’s urban fantasy!  Chrysoula currently has a kickstarter going for a new, feminist fantasy series called Citadel in the Sky. The tagline: Kicking butt in nice dresses: a new epic tradition. Don’t you love it?

I have mostly been clearing books from my TBR list off the Kindle, but have somehow also gotten myself addicted to Suzan Harden’s Bloodlines series. Nothing like paranormal romance with humor (and witches, vampires, werewolves and zombies). Honestly, my doctors are totally getting used to hearing me laugh out loud in the waiting room. :-)April will soon be here with more books! I have already pre-ordered the first book in Liana Brooks new SF Jane Doe series, The Day Before,  due out April 28th. The second book, Convergence Point, is due out on November 24, 2015.

And finally, I received an ARC for a new spy thriller trilogy coming out in April that is just fantastic! More on that one next time….

 

Coffee, Contests and Demons: It’s Dead Demon Walking Time

If you have read some of my past reviews, you may know that I am a huge fan of author Linda Welch and her Whisperings paranormal mystery series. Whisperings is a series featuring Tiff Banks, who sees the spirits of those who have been violently slain, and her demon lover, Royal. You can read my reviews of both the first book in the series, Along Came a Demon and the second book, The Demon Hunters, right here on the blog.

Well, now it is time for the third book in the Whispering series, Dead Demon Walking. I have been looking forward to the third installment in the series for quite some time. A few months back, I was privileged  to be one of the beta readers for an earlier draft of the book. So, I cannot wait to read the latest installment in the series and see how it has turned out! And what’s even more exciting is that not only is the next book in the series here, but Linda Welch is actually having a contest with some serious swag picked out by characters Tiff and Royal themselves!

Here’s what you can win:

  • Exclusive – Royal’s coffee mug.
  • Royal’s favorite organically grown coffee.
  • Exclusive – Whisperings poster.
  • Tiff’s favorite made-in-Utah chocolates.
  • Your choice of Gift certificate: $20.00 or £13.00 Amazon, or $20.00 Barnes & Noble.
  • Dead Demon Walking T-shirt featuring a quote from the book, in your size.
  • And, not just one, but two lucky runners-up will get:

    • A gift certificate. Your choice of $10.00 or £6.00 Amazon, or $10.00 Barnes & Noble.

    You can accrue winning points by doing any of the following. The more points, the better your chances.

    • Leave a comment on her blog: 2 points.
    • Follow her blog: 2 points.
    • Become a Whisperings Facebook Fan:  4 points.  There’s a link on the side of her blog.
    • Mention the contest on your Facebook, Yahoo, or other social network page: 4 points.
    • Tweet, Digg, Stumble (or whatever) about this contest and ask your friends to spread the word: 5 points.
    • Blog about the contest: 5 points.
    • Read Whisperings book one Along Came a Demon and tell me What is Royal’s Gelpha name?: 15 points.

    An important note if, like me, you read the first two books a while back: Along Came a Demon was updated with additional material in late 2010.  If you read the original  novella, you won’t find Royal’s Gelpha name in there, if you read the current novel-length version, you will. 

    For complete instructions on how to enter, you’ll have to go to Linda’s website. I’d like to tell you more, but I am off to read the expanded version of Along Came a Demon. I am just dying of curiosity to find out Royal’s Gelpha name!

    The Demon Hunters: A Review

    The Demon Hunters
    The Demon Hunters

    This is the second volume in Linda Welch’s Whisperings series. And, believe it or not, as good as Along Came a Demon was, this sequel is even better.

    In The Demon Hunters, Tiff Banks has made some major changes in her life, including starting a new detective agency with her partner, Royal.  But as Tiff tries to move her life forward in a new direction, things don’t exactly go as planned. When money becomes an issue, she is reduced to rescuing a kidnapped kitty for the reward–with the help of her faithful Scottie, MacKlutzy, of course.  And she discovers that she may not have as much choice as she would like in choosing which jobs to take, or how to handle them once she’s gotten them. 

    As the book unfolds, a lot more is revealed about Tiff’s past and how she uses her gift. The book also introduces the demons known as the “Dark Cousins,” an interesting group that I hope we learn a lot more about in future volumes in the series. And, of course, her roommates Jack and Mel are irrepressible.

    Author Linda Welch is always a talented, thoughtful writer and does a great job with the writing of humor–the kidnapped kitty section is hilarious.  Most impressive is the skillful recreation of a period journal that provides a vital clue to solving the mystery.  It is so well written and feels totally authentic. Like the first book, this one is a suspenseful, fast paced, fun read that I highly recommend.

    Like the first volume, the book is available for the Kindle at a very reasonable price.

    At the end of the book is a preview of the first chapter of the next book in the series, Demon on a Distant Shore. That volume promises to give some insight into the background of at least one of Tiff’s ghostly roommates.

    You can learn more about the author, Linda Welch, on her blog where she posts updates on the Whisperings series.  You can also follow her updates on Twitter.  There is also a fan page on Facebook for Whisperings here.

    Along Came a Demon: A review

    51iwrUwhrdL__SL160_I accidentally found a sample chapter of this book by Linda Welch on the Internet.  Just a couple of paragraphs in, I was so hooked, I picked up my Kindle and downloaded it.  Yeah, it’s that good.

    The protagonist, Tiff, is a character who is easy to relate to.  She has a job that doesn’t allow her to be herself.  She has roommates who complicate her life.  She has bad taste in men.  But her job is pretending to be a psychic because she can see and hear the spirits of those who have died violently.  Her roommates happen to be dead.  And her taste in men?  Well, you’d better read that for yourself.

    This is a fun paranormal mystery that really keeps the suspense level high; I had no clue where the story was going. Besides being well plotted, the dialog in this book is delightful and feels very real.  My only complaint is that the book was too short! I sat down to read and was done before I knew it.  My only consolation is that this is the first in a new series.  The first chapter from the sequel, The Demon Hunters, is at the end of this book and looks just as interesting.  I am certainly looking forward to following this series.

    You can learn more about the author, Linda Welch, on her blog where she post updates on the Whisperings series. You can also follow her updates on Twitter. There is also a fan page on Facebook for Whisperings here.